Blues Song Structure

958 Words4 Pages
What are The Blues?
Where the Blues Started
The Blues originated in the early 19th century as a form of a field hollers, a form of singing with quick or jumpy pitch changes, slaves would sing about their troubles, plans, and emotions while working in the fields in a call and response pattern. After the emancipation of the slaves, the genre almost completely vanished because of the lack of record keeping of African American culture during the 18th and 19th centuries. The lack of record keeping should have spelled the end for the Blues; however, all was not lost. In 1903, A man named William Christopher Handy, a popular African American bandleader and composer at the time, was waiting at a train station in Tutwiler, Mississippi. Handy overheard
…show more content…
Blues songs use a twelve-bar form, twelve measures, in a 4/4-time signature, four beats per measure. The reason as to why Blue songs use the twelve-bar with a 4/4-time signature is because it is simple to listen to, play, and sing. The twelve-bar form can be divided in to three groupings of four bars to form a verse, this is known as a AAB form, Blues common song structure. The AAB is simple to understand, both the first four bars, measures one through four, and the next four, measures five through eight, are the same with little to no change between them thus why they are called A; while the last four, measures nine through twelve, are different from the earlier measures thus being called B. The AAB form allows for a call-and-response inside the song allowing for A being the call, and B being the response. The 4/4-time signature is simplistic and versatile, because it has four beats per measure which can be divided into two or more chords.; the 4/4-time signature also allows easy rhythm keeping. Different time signatures do not work as well and have different uses; example, the 3/4-time signature, three beats per measure, are used for waltz and ballads, while 2/4-time signature, two beats per measure, are used for marches or
…show more content…
A chord is built with a root note, a 1st, a second note three intervals above the root, a 3rd, and a third note three intervals above the second note, a 5th, this process can be done to get higher notes in the chord (Figure 3, Below) and are set up as 1st-3rd-5th-7th. Blues use chords which are solemnly heard in Pop, Hip Hop, or Rap, Blues uses 9th chords. 9th chords do not have a root note, a 1st, they only have a 3rd, 5th, 7th, and the 9th, which is the second note of the scale, and set up as 9th-5th-7th-3rd. 9th chords have the 9th in the base of the note and use different intervals because of it, 9th at bottom, the 5th four intervals above the 9th, the 7th three intervals above the 5th, and the 3rd four intervals above the 7th (Figure 4,
Open Document